He's outplaying other rookies including Lonzo Ball.
Over the course of the season, almost everyone is saying the same thing: Kyle Kuzma is definitely the steal of the draft. And the Los Angeles Lakers have the Brooklyn Nets to thank for.
Imagine if the Lakers didn't trade D'Angelo Russell to the Nets in exchange for Brook Lopez and the rights to pick Kuzma, the 27th pick in the 2017 Draft, the Lakers would have been in a much worse situation owing to Lonzo Ball's struggles in terms of putting the ball into the basket. Of course, Lonzo Ball is getting more attention from the media because of the tremendous amount of hype that he got even before the draft and of course, thanks to his equally famous father, LaVar Ball.
While many fans initially thought that Lonzo Ball would be the new face of a franchise who has been enduring long spells of no playoff appearances, they are dead wrong. Who is the Lakers' scoring leader this season? Not Lonzo Ball. Not Brandon Ingram. It's the guy wearing the #0, Kyle Kuzma.
Kuzma has been averaging 18 points per game while playing for 31 minutes. He's making 49% of his shot attempts including 41% of his attempts from the three-point line- leading the Lakers. But what made people go crazy and began campaigning for Kuzma to play in the All-Star Game is his performance in the last two weeks. How good ios Kuzma during that period?
- 26 points per game
- 7 rebounds
- 52% field goal shooting
On Christmas Day against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Kuzma exploded for 31 points- the most for a rookie player who played on Christmas Day since LeBron James had 34 back in 2003. No wonder why the King himself was also impressed with #0. Kuzma went 6 for 13 from the three-point line and had 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and a blocked shot.
Will these numbers equalize to Kyle Kuzma getting a spot in the All-Star Game? Definitely. Rookie of the Year? That's not impossible. Face of the franchise? YEP!
For now, Kyle Kuzma is performing as if he's not a rookie. He may have his down moments but the beauty of it, he keeps on coming back way better and he has already broken many rookie-related records. Example? He became the first rookie since Jerry West to average 25 points, at least, in 3 consecutive games.
No wonder why many teams are now scratching their heads. They missed the chance to have Kuzma on board. And they missed BIG TIME.